(The Center Square) – Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff declared victory Wednesday morning over Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue in their runoff election – one of two elections held Tuesday to determine power in the U.S. Senate.
With 99.92% of precincts reporting, Ossoff held a 16,370-vote lead over Perdue, 50.19% to 49.81%. Ossoff’s victory declaration came about six hours after The Associated Press declared Democrat Raphael Warnock the winner in his U.S. Senate runoff with Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
“It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate,” Ossoff said. “Thank you for the confidence and trust you have placed in me.”
Neither Perdue nor Loeffler have conceded. If Ossoff and Warnock’s leads hold, Democrats would gain control of the U.S. Senate with a 50-50 split in the chamber and Democrat and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris holding the tiebreaker vote. Two independent senators caucus with the Democrats.
“This is an exceptionally close election that will require time and transparency to be certain the results are fair and accurate and the voices of Georgians are heard,” Perdue’s campaign said in a statement before Ossoff declared victory. “We will mobilize every available resource and exhaust every legal recourse to ensure all legally cast ballots are properly counted.”
In the special election runoff to serve the remainder of retired U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term, Warnock had a 50.61%-49.49% lead over Loeffler, a margin of more than 53,000 votes. The Associated Press called the race for Warnock at 2 a.m. EST Wednesday.
“Tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work, and the people by our side, anything is possible,” Warnock said.
Loeffler, who is in Washington on Wednesday for the certification of the Electoral College results, vowed to keep fighting.
“It’s worth it for this election to last into [Wednesday],” she said. “We’re gonna make sure every vote is counted. Every legal vote will be counted. And I’m not gonna stop working.”